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This paper describes a motion estimation (ME) processor core for realtime, MP@HL video encoding. It is being fabricated with 0.13 μm CMOS technology and contains approximately 7 M-transistors on 4.50 mm × 3.35 mm area. The estimated power consumption is less than 100 mW at 81 MHz and 1.0 V. It features a gradient descent search (GDS) algorithm that drastically reduces the required computation power to 7 GOPS, an optimized SIMD datapath architecture that decreases the clock frequency and the operating voltage, and a low power 3-port data cache SRAM with a write-disturb-free cell array arrangement. The core can be applicable to a portable HDTV codec system.